Grant Avenue is a moderately wide corridor with enough width to park three cars from curb to curb. Grant has a one-way lane, but towards the end of most blocks, one lane splits into two, adding a right turn lane. Also Grant only has a left lane for parking.
Modes of Transportation
We conducted pedestrian, vehicle, and/or bike counts on Grant Ave entrance, on Grant between Pine and California, and on Grant between California & Sacramento.
Two persons stood parallel in the middle of a block on the left and right sidewalks and we used manual counters. We counted people who walked by us in any directions for fifteen minutes. For example, from 10:00 - 10:15 am and 10:20 - 10:35 pm. We then multiplied this number by eight to bring us to total counts per 2 hours to correspond to the CCDC Chinatown Pedestrian Needs Assessment - Pedestrian Count. We incorporated our data into the report, which only had Jackson and Broadway counts along Grant.
Our numbers indicated heavy foot traffic at the Chinatown entrance gates by mostly tourists at 2,224 individuals per 2 hours. A decline in pedestrians on Grant occurred between Pine and California with 2,080 and a small increase occurred between California and Sacramento with 2,440 individuals per hour. Using this data we can gather that the center streets of Chinatown on Grant street are heavily used by wandering tourists and residents that purchase goods from the commercial businesses on Grant street.
We found that bike users entered through the Chinatown gates at 48 bikes per 2 hours. The bicyclists tend to be tourists, whereas toward the center and end of Grant, there were a few locals on bikes.
Our vehicle count revealed that the beginning and end of the Grant corridor had the fewer traffic than the center of Grant - Sacramento & Clay which had 40 vehicles/ 15 min or 320/ two hours. Even though there is low traffic on Grant Ave, cars move along slowly because of cars parking and making turns. Besides cars and vans, delivery trucks are pretty common.
Our fieldwork indicated to us that foot traffic is the most commonly utilized mode of transportation. Between each street, we measured sidewalk length on both sides using measuring tape. Our findings are indicated below. We observed that a majority of the businesses will take up sidewalk space by placing their goods in front of their business. Some extensions protrude up to 55 km causing congestion as pedestrians linger the storefronts to eye the goods and take up half of the sidewalk.
There are no MUNI lines run along Grant Ave, so we decided to focused on vehicle parking by looking at the space and meters.
We recorded the number of commercial and regular meters and then observed the surroundings of parking spaces.
Map from SFPark
Yellow - Commercial Loading
Gray - General Metered
Green - Short Term
It is definitely difficult to find a spot when there are only a total of 82 parking meters between Pine & Broadway, but general parking does not appear to be an major issue with the existing to three parking garages nearby. As we go down the corridor there are fewer general parking and more commercial parking. We observed that the parking spaces benefit businesses in that most are commercial unloading and passenger drop-off zones. Each block has varied sections of commercial parking and usually correlates with a business front.
Overall, Grant Ave is very efficient in terms of transit as a corridor. Our field study shows that rarely is there any vehicle traffic during the morning and the huge flow of people is well accommodated by the two lanes of sidewalks. Many drivers, knowing that Grant Ave. is a street where people commonly J-walk, proceed slowly and cautiously and occasionally also stop not at an intersection to allow pedestrians to j-walk across.
To promote safety, a few signs should be placed visibly throughout Grant Ave. to warn drivers to slow down or in other words, to anticipate people who might suddenly pop out J-walking. With the slow car traffic, many bikers are able to safely maneuver in and out of Grant Ave as well.
Another measure that we would propose is to have road and intersection markings repainted for transit safety. We notice that many of the current markings are faded away. The color-coded curb markings, designating which type of parking is allowed, should also be repainted for visibility.
The right lane of Grant prohibits parking or stopping. However, occasionally delivery trucks park drive onto the sidewalk, when there is no parking available. This is usually due to cars occupying parking space that is designated for unloading vehicles. Drivers either park half or the nearly the entire vehicle onto the sidewalk. This is especially dangerous when there are many pedestrians. Most of the Chinatown population are seniors and children, and drivers may not see pedestrians. Another concern is that there is less space for people to walk. Some businesses already take up part of the sidewalk with merchandise. When trucks park in front of a store, pedestrians need to squeeze through.
Our solution then is to enforce where vehicles can and cannot park by increasing ticketing and to encourage people to report illegal parking. The idea is to ensure that cars do not park where the parking space is designated for loading trucks. This would deter loading trucks from parking onto the sidewalk and taking up sidewalk space that is already very limited and heavily used by pedestrians.
Sidewalk space is heavily utilized in Grant Ave by both tourists and locals and occasionally by bikers. Often, commercial and retail stores would take up a lot of sidewalk space by placing their merchandises outside of their storefronts. To increase the availability of sidewalk space so that pedestrians don’t have to walk out of the sidewalk and into the road to get by, we would like to recommend higher enforcement of merchandise placement on sidewalk space.